Fathers May Struggle More than Mothers to Balance Work and Family Life
Fathers are challenged to find a way to balance both work and family life. Fatherhood can mean struggling to balance their professional life, fatherhood, personal relationships, and their own wellness. It is not just mothers that struggle with the pressure of “having it all”.
Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote an influential piece, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” She wrote that fathers don’t face many challenges when deciding between work and family life. It may be true that fathers don’t seem to face the same parent penalty as women when it comes to wages. In fact, fathers are often seen as a desirable hire because they are seen as stable employees. However, fathers that take time away from work to take care of the family face more scrutiny than their peers/
Fatherhood - Male Mystique
A recent study by the Families and Work Institute entitled, “ The New Male Mystique” found the challenges women face with the balance of work and family life have remained the same over the last 30 years. However, fathers stated that they see more conflict. The study found that father report work and family life conflict rose 25 percent between 1977 and 2008.
It is projected with the current work pressures and the challenges of modern fatherhood that this conflict will continue to rise. Fathers feel the pressure to provide for their children and meet the demand of modern fatherhood.
Although today’s work environments are more father-friendly with flexible work schedule, family medical leave, and other family-friendly policies, fathers sometimes feel stigmatized for taking advantage of those opportunities. A report by the Center for American Progress found that fathers that do take advantage of those family-friend policies often receive lower wages and poor performance reviews. This translates to fewer promotions than men that do not take advantage of these family-friendly policies. This leaves one question how family-friendly are our work environments. Both mother and fathers seem to be penalized for striving for work and family life balance.
Striving for Fathers to Gain Work and Family Life Balance
Fathers and father based organization need to continue to sound the drum for better balance. The children are our future. Both parents and businesses should be investing in them. Continue to follow Fathers for Equal Rights, Houston, for great information and resources related to fatherhood and other parenting issues.
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